Monday, January 20, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - Lunchbox Stars!

Well last week didn't go quite as well as week before. If there is one thing I am learning it's that it's important to be flexible with the meal planning! Roo was invited to his friend's house for tea on Tuesday so rather than cook the meal I had planned for the two of us I opted for a tea and toast supper and cooked Tuesday's meal on Friday. And we ended up having Wednesday's soup two night running as Roo loved it so much...
Despite this I still went £2.04 over budget - although to be fair at least two meals this week will be made from Sunday's roast dinner left overs so potential to make up for over spend there...

Roo's school packed lunch is still proving tricky.  Every day this week his lunch bag has come home with about 75% of his lunch in a squished up mess at the bottom of it, so not only is he not eating it at school, I can't even make him eat it when he gets home hungry...
It doesn't seem to make much difference whether I put his favourite sandwiches (minus crusts) and snacks in or not - he rarely eats more than half of it.
We talked about it and I asked him what he would really like in his lunch bag and he said 'pasta and tuna or some soup'  This week we are going to try just a bowl of pasta salad and some of these fab little cheesy star snack biscuits (recipe below).  Less stuff to chose from will hopefully mean he eats more of what he is given and I won't have to keep throwing food away!

This week's meal plan...


Cauliflower and Other veg cheese, made with Sunday dinner leftovers!


Chicken, Sweetcorn and Noodle Soup - again made with Sunday's left over roast chicken


Roo going to his Nonny's house after school so probably cheesy beans on toast for me! (or left over left overs...)


Lentil and Carrot soup with homemade rustic bread


Aduki Bean pie


Homemade pizza


Toad in the Hole with mash and veg

Easy Cheesy Lunchbox Stars recipe


4oz/125g plain flour
2oz/60g butter
2ox/60g finely grated cheese (a mature cheddar gives a better flavour)
1tsp paprika
splash of cold milk
1 egg yolk


Sift the flour and paprika into a large bowl.  Rub in the butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, mix in the cheese then make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolk and a splash of milk (go easy, you can always add a little more if need be) and mix together to form a soft dough.
Roll out the the dough on a floured surface - about 3-5mm thick is enough as the biscuits puff up a bit when cooked.  Cut out your biscuits and place on a greased/lined baking tray and cook at top of a moderate oven (180c/gas 4) for about 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.

They should stay fresh for five or six days.

They may not actually stay uneaten for that long though...

The paprika is entirely optional but adds a subtle kick. Leave it out if you don't think your kids will like it. Try dried herbs instead if you want or add some poppy seeds to the mix with the cheese.
Try using different shaped cookie cutters too - I have dinosaur ones that went down particularly well or you could try mini gingerbread men cutters, hearts, flowers, or just plain rounds.

These snacks are incredibly easy and cheap to make - not to mention very moreish - so enjoy experimenting with different seasonings and shapes and make your kids lunchboxes more fun!

ps - I have submitted this post to #mealplanningmonday over on At Home with Mrs M - there's loads of other meal planning ideas linked up too so do go and take a look!

Meal Planning Monday


  1. The cheesy stars look so yummy. Good luck with the school lunches. Maybe he wants something warm since soup was mentioned?
    Claire xx
    somewhere... beyond the sea

    1. That is possible although he just loves soup of any kind (it's easy eating ;-) ) - you may have noticed it features a lot in my meal plans! I pay for him to have two school dinners a week, just cannot afford anymore and at 5 he's a bit too young for a thermos flask... For older kids though, a flask of homemade soup would make an excellent packed lunch!

  2. Wow! Those cheesy stars look fantastic!

  3. Those cheesy stars look nice. I'll have to make them for F. Though she has school dinners and usually comes home wearing most of her dinner...

  4. The cheesy stars look great! I'll have to have a go at making some =) x

  5. I found less is more when it comes to packed lunch. I cut my son's down and he eats more of it now.

  6. Cheesy stars are my daughters' favourite lunch time snack. We use a similar recipe but don't add paprika. I'll give it a go next time. Thanks. #pintorials

  7. Visiting from Pintorials. Lovely cheesy biscuit recipe - it will go into my Bento box of tricks! Thank you x


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